Besiktas have agreed a fee of approximately £8 million with Chelsea for Senegalese striker Demba Ba, it has been reported.
According to The Daily Mail - who cite quotes from Besiktas president Fikret Orman - the two clubs have been talking over a potential deal for Ba for some time now, with the Turkish outfit now finally having managed to agree a fee slightly below Chelsea's initial asking price of £10 million.
While the deal is yet to be officially completed, it now seems likely that Ba will be heading to the Vodafone Arena this summer, something which will presumably come as a source of huge disappointment to Everton and his former club Newcastle.
Both of those aforementioned Premier League sides were also believed to be interested in signing Ba this summer, with the Toffees hoping to arrange a mutually beneficial loan deal similar to the one handed to Chelsea teammate Romelu Lukaku last season but finding themselves ultimately scuppered by an inability to match his rather extravagant wages.
Lack of impact at Chelsea
Chelsea fans will surely not be too disheartened to learn that Ba is set to exit Stamford Bridge, with the former Hoffenheim star not exactly considered indispensable in West London or even a particularly important member of the first-team squad.
Indeed, the blow of losing Ba - along with Samuel Eto'o, who left the club earlier this month after his one-year contract came to an end - will be perfectly compensated by the arrival of Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa.
Spanish international Costa - signed from the La Liga champions in June for a fee believed to be in the region of £32 million - notched 27 goals in just 35 domestic matches under Diego Simeone last season and represents an enormous upgrade for Jose Mourinho as he seeks to bring silverware back to Chelsea.
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Ba to find his form in Turkey?
Besiktas - who are currently managed by former West Ham and Croatian international defender Slaven Bilic - finished third in the Spor Toto Süper Lig last season, three points adrift of second-placed Galatasaray and 12 behind eventual champions Fenerbahce.
The Black Eagles also scored fewer goals than both of their key title rivals during the last campaign and Bilic will presumably be hoping that the addition of Ba will help in that regard as he adjusts to the pace of an admittedly inferior league.
Indeed, Besiktas' eagerness to secure a permanent deal for Ba rather than an initial loan agreement with a view to a purchase would suggest that they already have a great deal of faith in the 29-year-old's abilities.
"Demba Ba is an excellent player," president Orman said about the deal. "We have been in talks with Chelsea for a long time over bringing him to Istanbul.
"Talks are ongoing. Chelsea initially wanted £10 million for Ba but we have negotiated a price we are happy with. We'll tell the media once the final deal is done."
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